Saturday, 31 December 2011

7th Day of Christmas

Here is a scarf knit on 'my fingers'.  I was shown how to do this by an octogenarian at the machine knitters guild and was quite fascinated.  I knit three wools at a time to create a thicker scarf and then finished each end with beads.

This would be ideal for a knitting fix on an aeroplane!

Friday, 30 December 2011

6th Day of Christmas

This is one of my favourite patchwork bags. It is simply knit in strips of squares and then joined together to make a bag which is lined as well. This makes it quite sturdy.  To finish I have added a clear button. When I wear it, it always cheers me up.

I plan to knit another in summer colours and maybe add a flower or two.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

5th Day of Christmas

This is a snood or mobius scarf. I made it on my ribber in fisherman's rib.  It is fairly straightforward - you just knit a long piece like a scarf and then twist it and either graft both ends on the machine or on a hague linker. Whichever you prefer.  This can then be put around your neck - twice like below or once and then up the back of your head to keep it warm - like a snood

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

4th Day of Christmas

This is a cap which was hand knit using aran wool. It only takes 2 balls and is very satisfying to knit. You knit the round and then 2 pieces to cover the peak which was made from a plastic file cover.

Thanks to my son who took the photos

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

3rd Day of Christmas

This is a scarf I made on my loom. It is made with 4ply wool and made a close weave.  It is a bit hard for a scarf but would make a nice table runner.

Monday, 26 December 2011

2nd Day of Christmas

This is a waistcoat which I knit for my mum.  It is the first item I have knit on the garter carriage and put together with a hague linker.  She wanted some pockets and it worked out quite well.  I was even able to make the button bands with the garter carriage.  I sewed on a large button and then sewed a popper behind it which saved me having to make a button hole.

This was knit with double knitting King Cole Mirage and so is nice and thick and warm

Sunday, 25 December 2011

1st Day of Christmas:Merry Christmas to Everyone

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and hoping Santa brought you some wool or something nice to enjoy. 
This is a little Santa which I knit when my children were young and he sits under the Christmas Tree every year.
Merry Christmas

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

About my loom

First of all I have not blogged for a while.  I just could not get time between work and family.  Anyway, I had an enquiry about my loom.  It is an Ashford Knitter's Loom - which basically means it folds in half and can therefore be easily stored away when in use or not in use as the case may be.  It is a 12" Regid Heddle Loom.

Folded Loom

Opened up with heddle inserted.
 I bought it while on holiday in England as I could not find a stockist in Northern Ireland. I got it from Norfolk Yarns at  The lady had a loom set up in the shop and ran through with me how to thread it up and start to weave which was really helpful.
I have found the loom easy to thread up and weave on, as I am a complete novice.  So far, I have just made scarves.  The heddle supplied is for fancy wool - I have used double knit, chunky and a fancy yarn.  On hindsight, I should have got a wider loom so I would not be restricted by width - although I suppose I could join 2 lengths together if I want a wider material.

Woven scarf with Curly Wurly Wool
I am still experimenting with the loom but am enjoying the learning curve. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Record Aids

I don't know about you, but when I knit an item, I am usually so keen to get onto my next one that I never record what I have done.  I write tensions and notes on different bits of paper or envelopes and then find these weeks later and cannot remember to what yarn or garment they refer to, and usually end up in the bin. So...........................................I made myself 2 record sheets.

The one below is to record the Tension of a yarn and my intension is to keep one sheet in a folder to record the yarn and then to cut one of the boxes off and staple it to the yarn band with a small sample of the wool.  Then I will have a record if I ever want to use this wool again.  I know each cone and colour of wool does knit at a different tension but it would give me a starting point.

The second aid is to record a garment.  I can fill this in and put it in a folder so I can refer to it if I wish to make another garment of the same type.  I amy also consider putting the sheet in a polypocket with the tension square/sample of the wool.


You can make a similar sheet or if you send me you email, I will gladly send you a copy.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Boucle Jumper

Hi, I have not had time to blog as have been weaving and knitting.  Yes, I eventually got up to the roofspace to my chunky machine and knit a jumper.  This is one I have been planning since last year.
It is made from King Cole Misty DK and is a boucle wool, so you use the wrong side when making up the jumper. The pattern is from Machine Knitting Monthly October 2010.  The neck is hand knit on size 5mm needles.

 I am pleased with it but the wool was a nightmare to knit.  The wool would go into a thin strand and seemed to stick to itself and somehow when casting off, the stitches would drop.

It is the first jumper I have sewn up on my Hague and it is a dream - I love it.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Ruffle Scarf

I have finished my ruffle scarf.  I purchased this wool while on holiday in Cambridge.  It is Rizos Katia and is one of the new type of yarn with a little space at the top to insert your needles.  It is quite a slippy yarn, so I was advised to knit it on circular needles and then it has less chance of slipping off. The yarn is manufactured in Spain and made from 98% acrylic and 2% polyester.  It comes in 100g balls.
Ruffle Scarf

Close up of the ruffles
Using 5.5 mm needles, I cast on 15 stitches and this size of scarf took approximately 2 balls of yarn.  There were some beautiful colours in it and the next time I would make it slightly thinner, maybe 10 stitches.  It knits up quickly and would make a lovely Christmas present.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Ashford Weaving Loom

Here is a picture of my Knitting Loom. The name is not accurate as you do not knit on it.  It is called a knitting loom because it folds in half and can be transported easily in a bag, similar to knitting. So far, I have made a small sampler, a bookmark and my latest full scale project is a fine scarf for myself.

Knitter's Loom

Fine Woven Cloth
The scarf is made from 3ply wool which I bought for machine knitting but have not as yet used. I thought it would be good for using up odd bits of yarn as you can add different textured yarns.
I am still getting to grips with it, but it is quite fun.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Back to Blogging

Hi - I am have been very bad at ignoring my blog.  I have been away on holiday and then got tied up with family.  As a result, no time to blog or knit.  Well, when I say knit - I have about 4 projects on the go but very litle finished items.  Also, I bought myself a small loom when on holiday which was getting my attention for a while. The only item I have finished was a magazine holder which I got from a well loved blogger susy raynner  I still have to sew some bias binding down the seams but as yet have not had a chance ot go out and buy some. Here is a picture.

Hopefully, I will be blogging more regularly now.  Oh, also bought some new wool while on holiday and visited Metropolitan Knitting where I was able to stock up on a few items.  Will show you these later.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Garter Cushion Cover

Hi, I eventually got a cushion filler for my knitted cushion cover. I knit it on my garter carriage in double knitting yarn using the Brother Stitchworld Pattern no 468 on my standard gauge machine.  I cast on 104 stitches and knit 176 rows. I then put a marker on each end of the row and knit another 176 rows.  Then I folded it in half and sewed up the 3 sides.  I was really pleased with the result and as the yarn is double knitting, it is nice and thick.  I have seen knitted cushion covers in the shops, so they are very much in fashion.  I will have to do some more and it is a good way to use up my stash of DK wool.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Knitted Shawl

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I just have been soo busy.  I am working on my blanket made of squares and have eventually got them all joined together, doing some work for the Ni Machine Knitters Guild as I am now the secretary, decorating the hall, fixing the turquoise jacket I have blogged about earlier as I did not like the button band and handknitting a shawl for my boss who retires tomorrow.  Here is the finished item. I hope she likes it.

It is the first shawl I have ever knit.  I bought the wool in a sale while on holiday.  It is Sirdar Duet and the pattern is from Knitting in no time by Melody Griffiths.  Well, it took me some time - about 2 months although the book said 24 hrs.  Thinking about it, this is probably about right as I only knit about 30 mins each night! 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Virtual Machine Knitting Museum

This is site which may be of interest. It catologues many different knitting machines and assessories.
Good for a rainy day

Friday, 3 June 2011

Interesting Article

Hi, I was looking through the internet the other day and I came across an interesting article in The Guardian.  It is about craft and although it is not updated much, some are some nice knitted pictures.  I would love to have a go creating a knitted picture with machine knitting.

The link is and here is a taster.  Please do have a look.

Knitted art: Hokusai's The Great Wave

Well, off to do some work on my patchwork baby blanket which has proved to be very time consuming.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Quick Waistcoat

This waistcoat is in the June 2011 issue of Machine Knitting Monthly.  It is a Bill King design.  What drew me to this pattern is that there is no sewing up. Yes, no sewing up!  (You just have a few ends)

You start at one end of a cord, increase for the main body, shape for sleeves and then cast on for the other cord.  I tried it in some old yarn and was completed in just over 2 hrs.  It weighs 162g, so perfect for used cones and fits from size 12 to 16.

I will need to check my stash for some nicer wool and maybe white for the summer and as it could be completed in a night - it would be quickly done.

Quick Waistcoat

Sleeve detail

Monday, 23 May 2011

Chunky Jacket Finished

I have at last finished my Chunky Jacket which I blogged about on 3rd May.
I got all the pieces joined together and after seeing it made up, I decided not to add a long band  and collar as shown on the pattern, as I thought it looked a bit old fashioned.  I liked the way the wool naturally curled to form a sort of band (See photograph).  So, I only knit a band as far as the yoke.

I am quite pleased with it although the chunky wool is thick and quite heavy.  I liked the concept of only knitting square/rectangles and the way the wool direction changes.  I hope to measure and record the sizes of the sqaures and then re-create it in a 4ply yarn. It is ideal for a woven fabric as the shaping is minimal.

My next project of finish is my blanket made of squares which I am presently joining on the machine.  It is quite time consuming and I may not have enough wool but will keep you updated.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Lacey Cardigan

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I have been busy and getting on with some projects.  At the moment I have 3 items on the go and have just finished this one.  It is a hand knitted lacey short-sleeved cardigan which will do me for this summer.  I started this just after Christmas in December 2009 for Easter 2010 and have only just finished it.  It is not that I am particularly slow at knitting - it is just that I amy only get about 1 hour a week to knit it.
The pattern is from Simply Knitting May 2009 and I knit it in King Cole Mirage which is a DK weight. The yarn is multi coloured and was quite nice to knit.  At times it got quite thin and I thought it may break, but it did not.  I like the double button effect and is light, soft and cosy.  It is a good addition to my wardrobe for cooler evenings in the summer.

Lacey Cardigan

Neckline and double buttons

Next, I hope to complete my chunky turquoise jacket which seems to be progressing quite well.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

For Phil- My Tension Square

This blog is inspired by Phil's question on my previous post regarding tension.
Well, the hand knitted pattern stated that the tension required to knit this jacket is 12 sts and 16 rows to 10cm (4in) over stocking stitch.
I knit a tension square on my chunky machine at Tension with 20 sts and 20 rows.  Then I got a tape measure and measured the number of stitches and rows needed for 10 cm.  The yarn is chunky, so these were easily counted and I discovered that I needed 14sts for 10cm and 20 rows for 10 cm. So, now I had to convert the pattern.
For every 12 sts in the pattern, I need to knit 14 sts on my machine, so when the pattern says cast on 57 sts, I divide this by 12 and multiply by 14 - so I need to cast on 69 sts.
The same goes for the rows - for every 16 rows in the pattern, I need to knit 20 rows on my machine.

I converted the pattern this way throughout and to make it easier for myself - I draw out diagrams of  the basic pattern shape and write down the sts, rows, increases, decreases etc. Hopefully this will help.

That's the theory, so hopefully it will fit when I sew it together.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Chunky Jacket

Hi, I have been enjoying the sunshine and Easter break and have not had a chance to do any knitting or blogging.
My next project is to complete a jacket on my chunky machine.  I spied a lovely pattern on Deramore's web site and bought a torquoise King Cole Magnum Chunky. 

Pattern for Chunky Jacket

 Although the pattern is for handknitting,  I liked the different direction of the knitting and after doing a few tension squares, converted it for my chunky machine. At Tension 8, a 10cm square is 14 sts wide by 20 rows high.  This is not exactly the same as the handknitted pattern but I was able to convert it. 
The jacket is knitted is sections - the arms are knitted in two halves and continue to form the back yoke and front yokes.  Smaller rectangles are knitted with the rib for the bottom part of the jacket.  Finally, a collar and bands are added.  As you can see, I have some parts knit and hopefully the jigsaw will all fit together.

Completed parts

On my standard machine, I am still completing some squares for my baby blanket and have bought some of the yarn in another colour to make the blanket bigger and more interesting.  I will update you on this later.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Creative Stitch and Craft Show

Last Thursday, I manned our stand at the exhibition.  The NI Machine Knitters Guild stand was very eyecatching.  The theme was a knitted nursery and indeed there were lots of items from blankets to an upholstered child's chair.  There was a box of toys, some curtains and a child's dressing gown.

There was a steady pace of enquiries from people interested in buying a knitting machine, to someone who had a machine up in the loft and an enquiry from a gentleman interested in a sock machine.  I could not help him but advised you could knit very successful socks on a knitting machine.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Today I am off the the King's Hall, Belfast to attend the stand of the NI Machine Knitters Guild.  The theme is 'A Knitted Nursery' and I am looking forward to see all the exhibits and meeting machine knitters. Hopefully will be able to get some pictures.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Machine Knitting Monthly May 2011

On Saturday, my letterbox rattled with the delivery of the May issue of Machine Knitting Monthly.

Interesting Patterns
Ladies Jumper designed by Clair Crowston - this is in Bramwell Artistic and has a wavy hem and a small piece of hand manipulated lace. Can be knit in a short sleeve, three quarter sleeve and long sleeve
Man's Jumper on the Passap which says is especially easy for beginners
Family Favourites - a selection of a cardigan, jumpers and waistcost for all the family. This is knit in King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK on a mid-gauge machine with a ribber.
Ladies Cardigan using Garter Carriage in 4 ply
Ladies Chunky Jacket/Cardigan knit on a chunky machine which is a lovely shape. This is a garment which I would like to knit
A Circular Shawl using the holding method - I cannot really get my head around the pattern but it does look interesting.
There are also 3 patterns for children's items
Other Interesting Articles
The other articles which stand out for me are
Tips of the Trade - an article well worth reading with hints and tips on machine knitting
Bill King's Masterclass on Fisherman's Rib to give a bias appearance
Classwise covers Advanced Holding Position
Jo Newton's picture of a ferret to put on a punchcard or electronic machine

I have not finished reading this issue in depth and will have to try out some of the ideas. As usual it is all a matter of finding time.  Off to hang out the washing etc etc

Friday, 8 April 2011

Small Blanket Part 1

Hi - I have always wanted to knit a blanket made of squares and eventually got around to buying some yarn and making some squares. So, I bought 2 x 50 g balls each of baby blue, pink and cream in Twilleys of Stamford freedom Gorgeous which is a 4ply yarn in bamboo and nylon.

I wanted to use the garter carriage and not only have squares of different colours but also of different textures.  I started with the blue and knit a square with my garter carriage in plain garter stitch.  After some trial and error, I decided to make a square of 42 sts x 85 rows and after settling this measures as a 5 inch square.

Blue garter square on machine

Next I used the cream and knit squares 45 sts x 64 rows in stocking stitch which curled a lot at the ends.

So, I had to spend yesterday morning blocking them out and steaming them - a job I hate doing as I am always a bit unsure what may happen to the wool.

Blocking squares

I will get 5 squares out of the 50g ball, so should end up with 30 squares.

I still have the pink wool to use and hope to make a pattern of a heart which will be knit in my garter carriage.  Will update later.  Enjoy the sunshine.

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Shrug

I have been busy this week with various family commitments but was eventually able to finish a shrug for my daughter yesterday.  It is knitted in 4ply acrylic in chocolate brown. The pattern is from Machine Knitting Monthly March 2011 and was included in a section about the garter carriage.  I did not use the garter carriage for this but did use the ribber for the border.
The main body is basicly a rectangle of stocking stitch.The recommended border is knit on the ribber and you arrange the needles for 6x6 over 30 needles. Then you K8 rows.  Then transfer the ribber stitches to the main bed using the double eyes bodkin and the stitches on the main bed to the ribber. Knit another 8 rows and then complete the transfer again.  This sounded easy, but first of all I had trouble casting on the rib as described in the ribber book. My carriage was much too hard to push, so I had to remove it and start again.  Then I cast on using e-wrap, K1 row and transferred the stitches over 6x6 rib.  I had completed 3 of the transfer of stitches from the main bed to the ribber and then some stitches fell off!  I could not get them picked up and so, removed the knitting from the machine and just did the border in a 2x1 rib.


Please excuse quality of the photograph as the wool is so dark, I found it difficult to capture any detail.

There is also a pattern for a garter carriage shrug which I may try for myself in a lighter colour for the summer.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Successful Socks

First of all hasn't this recent spell of weather been beautiful.  I always feel guilty staying indoors and knitting.
Anyway, I completed my first successful pair of socks which actually fit me. Socks seem to be all the rage and there are some lovely sock yarns in the shops - so last week I bought a couple of balls of Wendy Happy which is a bamboo and nylon mix and really soft. The pattern I used is the Flat Socks Pattern on

The first sock was just a tiny bit small, so I increased the number of stitches to 60 sts and then took 15 sts off on waste yarn at each side.  I completed my ribs on a ribber (1 x 1 rib) and added 20 rows onto the length of the main sock leg as advised by Susan.
I am really pleased with the result and am now on my second pair.  Socks are quick, satisfying item to knit. Thanks Susan

Monday, 21 March 2011

Hobby Horse

I finally completed my Hobby Horse. This is for exhibitions which the NI Machine Knitters Guild are holding throughout the year.  The first one is at the Kings Hall, at The Stitch and Creative Craft Show from 14th - 16th April.  The Guild always has a stand at the exhibition and the theme this year is The Knitted Nursery.

A guild member got me the pattern from Machine Knitted Toy Collection Book 1 and the pattern was easy to follow.  My only mistake was that I used red for the reins which were knitted on the nose and then I used the little piece of red wool up on a cushion! I don't know what I was thinking.  I tried various local wool shops for a small ball of red 4ply wool,  but all they sell are pale baby colours. In the end I had to order it online from Yeoman Yarns.  I ordered it last Sunday, and by Wednesday there was no email confirming they had sent me the item. I telephoned them and they told me it was out of stock and would not be in until about 2 weeks! I explained what it was for and the kind lady on the phone went to her shop and stockroom to check and found they had about 40g on a cone.  They dispatched it to me and it arrived last Friday - so I was able to make the reins.
So the moral of this story is to make sure you have enough wool before committing to a colour on an item.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Fishy Cushion 2

Well, I completed my second fishy cushion described as below:

Side 1
A panel of 4 stripes
1st stripe - 2 rows of 2 reversed fish of double width which the machine automatically placed for me
2nd stripe - 2 rows of 3 fish of double width again automatically placed by the machine
3rd stripe - 2 rows of 4 reversed fish (this is normal size)
4th stripe - 2 rows of 6 fish

Side 1

Side 2
I had to match the colour of stripes of side 1
1st stripe - positioned 2 single motif fish in the centre
Then I positioned 3 fish which were half on stripe 1 and half on stripe 2 as 1 single and 1 double motif
2nd stripe - positioned 2 fish as a single motif with the tail of the fish actually off the needle bed so if looks like the fish is swimming into the cushion.  Also on this stripe is a reversed fish* coming in from the left side.
3rd stripe - positioned 2 single motif reversed fish separately from the left
4th stripe - positioned 1 more reversed fish from the left to match the other fish in this shoal marked *. Finally in the top right I positioned 2 more reversed fish. 

This is 13 fish in total and for each line of fish I used a different colour of wool.  I trimmed the cushion in a shell type stitch in black wool.  With the wrong side facing you pick up 4 stitches, knit 10 rows and then pick up four more stitches to the left on the cushion and knit 10 more rows.  Continue until you have edged all round the cushion.

It took a lot of forward planning of where to position the fish, concentration to knit them all and to remember when to change colours.  Also there were a lot of floats which is ok for a cushion but would not do a garment. 
I did enjoy making my cushions and learnt about buttons on my machine which I had never used before.  I hope the members from NI Machine Knitters Guild will enjoy my talk.  Will keep you posted!

Also Happy St Patrick's Day from Northern Ireland.

Side 2

Monday, 14 March 2011

Machine Knitting Monthly April 2011

For the past few days I have been continuing with my 'fish patterning' project for my March Machine Knitters Guild Meeting. I am starting to sew it up tonight and will hopefully get some pictures up later in the week.

Anyway, I forgot to mention, I subscribe to Machine Knitting Monthly magazine  and I received the April issue last week. It is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and produced a bumper magazine.  I am hoping to be able to give a quick review of items which appeal to me in the magazine and hopefully you will also find interesting.

Interesting Patterns
DK Cardigan and Jumper in Garter Stitch which emulates an Aran type pattern
Chunky sweater with pockets 
Cushions with Garter Carriage - Ideal Project for Beginners 
DK Assortment of Baby Garments - Hooded Cardigan, Cardigan, Hat and Slipover
Aran Weight Jumper and Jacket knitted on a Chunky
Chunky tots to teens long jumper with centre cable - even if you do not knit the garment you could try out the cable on a cushion
4ply plain jumper with decorative raglan sleeve

Other Interesting Articles
Carl Boyd shows how to knit some flowers
How to create fancy raglans in the Learner Series
Pleats with Bill King
Passap - Using your Deco or Jac40

Well must go and get some knitting done!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Fishy Cushion 1

I got my cushion finished!

On the first side I centred the two fish and knit them as a single motif - as it was quite plain I added another pattern in red.

The second side was more complicated.  The first pattern was 1 fish placed to the far left, then 2 fish side by side and slightly to the right of the first fish and then 2 more fish above that again.  I knit these in brown, mustard and brown repectively.
Above this were 2 angel fish which took me 3 attempts to get right and I learnt that I had to programme my electronic as mirror image, reverse, double width and double height.
Finally, sewed the cushion up and added 2 tassels to finish.

I plan to make another one with more pattern sequences